March 31, 2017 9:30 a.m.
Legislation honoring Frank and Jeanne Moore, supporting self sufficiency for three Oregon tribes and resolving a long term dispute on Mount Hood all passed on Thursday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The committee unanimously passed the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area Designation Act, the Western Tribal Fairness Act and the Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act.
The legislation was written by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
Wyden says he is “thrilled this terrific trifecta of Oregon priorities advanced one step closer to the finish line”. Wyden says the Frank and Jeanne Moore bill honors “two great Americans and their dedication to protecting a truly special place in Oregon”. He says that for the tribes the recognition of their sovereignty will provide a boost to their economies. Wyden believes the Mount Hood Land Exchange will finally help protect Mount Hood for visitors and for the environment. He says that he and Senator Merkley will continue to push to get each of these bills passed into law this year.
The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area would designate nearly 100,000 acres of Forest Service land north of the North Umpqua River surrounding Steamboat Creek in Douglas County as a special management area. Wyden says that would ensure that the river, its tributaries, and the surrounding lands will protect steelhead habitat, preserve opportunities for recreation, and conserve ecological features of the river while ensuring wildfire protection. Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced the House version of the bill earlier this month.
The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act would place over 17,000 acres of federal lands currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management into trust for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and nearly 15,000 acres of federal land into trust for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. It would also amend the Coquille Restoration Act to require the Interior Department to manage the Coquille Tribes forest lands in the same way as other tribal forest lands. DeFazio and Congressman Greg Walden introduced the House version of the bill earlier this year.
The Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act is designed to help resolve a dispute over proposed land development on the north side of Mount Hood.
All three bills now go to the full Senate.